Whether you’re looking for pho or ramen, Los Angeles’ residents are fortunate to have some of the best noodle houses around. And with the addition of noodle places popping up all the time, noodle lovers will have even more spots to warm themselves up on a chilly night. After all, when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing more satisfying than to slurp, sip and savor a comforting bowl full of noodles.
329 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Four words for you: Made to order noodles. Grab a seat at the bar surrounding the glass enclosure for an up-close-and-personal view of the meticulous mastery happening inside the fishbowl otherwise known as the kitchen. Be prepared for a one-man show of pure methodic wizardry, armed with nothing more than his hands, a dowel and a hinged knife. You’ll walk away with a higher appreciation of the work that goes into making the perfect noodle. Especially when they’re slathered in rich, creamy broth generously laced with sea urchin treasures swimming inside. It comes garnished with a lone piece of uni atop a shiso leaf, like a little green boat lost at sea and in absolute paradise. In other words, do yourself a big favor and order the Sea Urchin Cream Udon.
Jinya Ramen Bar
11239 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Don’t be surprised if you see a big line here, even on a hot sunny day. Jinya Ramen Bar is popular for their Tonkotsu Ramen, with broth that is so full of umami, you’ll be swimming in Warren Buffet levels of serious flavor wealth. The underdogs on the menu rival the best bowl of ramen at any other shop in the valley. When the craving hits, you’ll want to come here often, despite the lines, despite the wait, and yes, even despite a sweltering hot day.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle
2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Within the ramen bar saturated neighborhood of Little Osaka, a bowl of soup isn’t hard to come by. What is, though, are the thick, al dente Tsukemen that you dip into a small bowl packed with a decidedly decadent, full-bodied broth that coats each noodle like fresh savory paint. Its appeal reaches far and wide, with eager noodle dippers willingly subjecting themselves to hours of west side traffic and circling blocks for an available parking spot. Clearly, Tsujita’s must be doing something right for people to remain undeterred by all the obstacles. Oh, and one more thing: It’s cash only, so come prepared.
5301 Sunset Blvd, Suite 8
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Pa-Ord Noodle is one of those hole-in-the-wall cash only kind of spots, but a lot of the times, the best kept food finds are inside. For a spicy kick in the pants that’ll make you cry tears of joy, the savory Boat Noodles are just what the doctor ordered. This authentic Thai dish is made with aromatic star anise and a host of other herbs. It’s also purported to have medicinal properties like stimulating circulation and aiding in detoxification.
Pho So 1
6450 Sepulveda Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA. 91411
You’ll find this bustling pho making machine in a shopping center anchored by 99 Ranch Market. Pho So 1 is a no frills experience, but the bowls full of this coveted Vietnamese street food are what you’ll have your eyes on. And, a mound of rice noodles is submerged in a fragrant broth, ready to be the cure to whatever ails you. Expect food on your table complete with accompanying accoutrements within minutes of ordering. The regular size is generous as it is, but if you really want to go to town, challenge your belt loop position to the large bowl.
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS L.A. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.